While this is a partially a travel blog, it is also a lifestyle blog (hence the name), and as I have entered the third trimester of pregnancy, we have absolutely zero plans (nor even desires) to travel anytime soon – and so I wanted to take this opportunity to reflect on life so far, as we enter a New Year…
2016 was a pretty amazing year for us. I probably say that every year, but truly, I feel incredibly lucky to actually believe that each year keeps getting better and better for Paul and I. As our relationship matures, it only strengthens, and we continue to accomplish so many things together. I love remembering our first few years together – the ‘beginning’, when our love was intense and new and exciting. But equally as much, I love where we are now. I love that our lives are so intertwined, how far we’ve come together, and the common goals we share. You know you’re with the right person when you only bring out the best in each other – and Paul and I have both grown so much as individuals, while continuing to thrive in our life together, that we truly make a great team. For us, 2016 started with a beautiful trip upstate to Mohonk Mountain house. We also found, and purchased, our dream home while becoming landlords by keeping our old home as a double rental property. We went to Disney World with my family, settled into our new home, and kept ourselves busy through the spring decorating, beautifying and improving our house. We celebrated the wedding of one of my very best friends, went to a music festival at Hunter Mountain, and spent early summer mornings kayaking and hiking the Nissequogue river. We hosted a huge housewarming/4th of July pig roast with all our closest family and friends. We made the decision that we wanted to start a family in 2016, and soon found out in July that I was pregnant – which was clearly the most life-altering and biggest thing to happen in our lives this year! We settled into the idea of becoming parents, planned a trip to California and started this blog. We renovated our den, took a few local fall day trips and hosted our first Thanksgiving in our new home. I started a new job, we suffered the passing of my grandfather – a truly special man to me – and we finished off the year by celebrating the holidays at home, with the people we love.
I hope I find the time this winter to reflect on some of these 2016 experiences in more detail, as many deserve more than just an honorable mention. I’d love to elaborate more on the work we’ve done in our house thus far, and the projects we have lined up – including, of course, the nursery 🙂 I probably will dedicate a majority of the future posts over the next few months to the ‘lifestyle’ portion of this blog, as we focus on starting life with our new daughter and settle into a new routine as parents. But the travels will come again, and we have quite a few plans for 2017. Call them resolutions, call them goals or dreams or whatever you want – but here’s what we’re hoping to have in store for the New Year:
- While on maternity leave, I’d like to tackle some work in our yard, change out the shutters and add window boxes to the front of our house. Possibly start a garden.
- I can’t WAIT to get back into running and Paul and I are both aiming to up our training in the spring/summer and run a few fall races (including the Cow Harbor 10K and possibly a fall half marathon). I think the most difficult aspect of this for me will be finding the time (and energy) with an infant at home to go out and run. But I have a jogging stroller, a supportive husband who’s home every morning until noon, and no 9-5 job to report to for quite a few months, so here’s to hoping I can carve out some time for myself 🙂
- We might plan a small local getaway in the summer with the baby – nothing crazy, maybe an extended beach weekend to the North Fork, Montauk or Fire Island. Or possibly a few days up the East Coast or upstate New York (some potential destinations we’ve discussed include Boston, Maine, Cape Cod or Lake George).
- We will be taking her on her first trip to Disney with my family in October – baby’s first time on an airplane!
- We will celebrate our five year wedding anniversary and decided to plan a winter cruise, as our anniversary gift to each other, for early 2018. My goal is to get this kid her first passport before the age of 1! And we both agreed we need a relaxing, manageable vacation as our first real trip with a baby – plus we love cruising and haven’t been since our honeymoon – so a cruise it is!
- We have our sights set on returning to Europe, particularly a trip to London, in 2018 and we hope to lay out some plans for that next major adventure as a party of 3!
That’s all for now – and I think that’s enough! I love looking ahead and planning and dreaming about the future, but I know the best part of it all will be all of the little unexpected moments that truly make up a life. The day to day, the peaceful afternoons in our backyard, the invigorating conversations over a bottle of wine – the fact that I can even drink wine again! – the morning strolls and evening sunsets. So here’s to hoping we accomplish all of our 2017 goals, but more importantly, here’s to the unknown and to hoping we take the time each day to appreciate the little surprises life will bring our way in this coming year.
And now, my attempt to sum up an entire year’s worth of highlights in photos:
Cheers 2016, you were good to us!